You may have noticed I haven’t posted in over a week. WHAT HAPPENED? AM I OK?
Yes. I am fine. Last week was a very tough week for a lot of reasons, including moving apartments which might be the earthly version of hell. I also spent last Sunday morning at home with my Mama Bear and not in church. I did listen to a super interesting podcast about Carlton Pearson which I am going to try to write about in an upcoming midweek post.
This past Sunday was Pentecost Sunday, which I didn’t know until I was sitting in a pew at Bethel Presbyterian church. Pentecost Sunday is a celebration of the early church receiving the Holy Spirit. This made sense to me since, based on my very limited research, Pentecostal religions are based on baptism in the Holy Spirit.
Bethel Presbyterian presented a lot of scripture and explained its relevance to the day of Pentecost and to the foundation of a church. The entire sermon felt like a lesson, which I found refreshing, but I’m not sure everyone would feel that way. If I had been going to church my entire life, maybe a teaching sermon would feel tiring. But as a newbie, I like when the church assumes I need to be taught. Oftentimes, I’ve noticed preachers assume the congregation knows a certain passage or story, and build their sermon without explaining the foundational knowledge required to fully understand it. This could make sense depending on the makeup of the congregation. A very mature church probably functions well that way, as where a younger congregation might need more teaching. The pastor focused mainly on Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit inhabited the house of the disciples and inspired them to speak in tongues. It was the first time I had seen speaking in tongues referenced in scripture, but in this case it was the manifestation of the Holy Spirit inspiring the disciples to speak in the languages of many to spread the word of God to more people. It was about sharing the gospel, which was the point of church. Church wasn’t a building, or a group of people, but the mission Jesus left for his followers before his ascension to Heaven to spread the word. That is contrary to what I had assumed speaking in tongues was, which was people “feeling” the Holy Spirit and inspiring them to speak in a language nobody knows. I have always thought speaking in tongues had to be performative in the modern age, but biblically (at least in this passage) it was an act of magic with a purpose.
The title of the sermon was TATYPIAP, which makes total sense right?
TATIPIAP was a somewhat long, and in my opinion, unnecessary acronym. It stands for:
The person is Jesus. He is the answer to your problems. Seems kind of broad and kind of like…the obvious point of the Christian church. But it was cute. The pastor was so excited to explain it, and how he almost put it on the church sign for that week except he was worried everyone would think he was crazy. He also described Jesus’ ascension to heaven as Jesus “flying up with his jetpack.” All in all, the church was a little hokey but endearing, and the type of atmosphere I would absolutely go back to. They were focused on the idea of the church being a mission and not a chill place to hang out. They weren’t trying to draw the millennial crowd with a modern praise band. They were trying to do what the church was meant to do since Pentecost Sunday.
I will attempt to post more frequently, thanks for hanging with me friends!